Areas of Montreal like Griffintown, Saint-Henri, and La Petite-Patrie have been the recent focus of much attention because of feverish commercial development, but a lot of changes have come to the Village too. A streamlined, somewhat antiseptic-looking, banh mi operation isn't going to transform a neighbourhood overnight, of course, but the arrival of La Maison de Banh Mi could be a harbinger of what's to come for Sainte-Catherine east of Berri. Then again, this is the same enclave of Montreal that soundly rejected Bawk Box.
Banh mi and chicken and waffles are entirely different kinds of fast food, of course. Montreal has firmly embraced the former. The vibe at La Maison de Banh Mi is a far cry from popular Vietnamese sandwich pushers like Hung Phat—the place evinces franchise aspirations—but it's not hard to imagine the concept working in the Village. The new restaurant from the trio of Vu Pham, Xuan Binh Nguyen, and Thi Kim Cuong Ngo, offers nine kinds of banh mi; varieties include char siu, roast pork, grilled pork, pork meatballs, chicken, grilled beef, Vietnamese sausage ('nem'), and vegetarian. Sandwiches cost $3.95 for seven inches, and $4.50 for ten inches. There are salads and bubble teas too. Reasonable prices, ultimately, may be what propel this place to success.